$newsid = ''; ?> Is anybody liveblogging/moblogging/phlogging today's immigration protests in Austin? I'm downtown and just spent my lunch hour mingling with several hundred enthusiastic and mostly very young protesters at the Capitol. As I understand it the mid-day rally was to be held at UT and the main show downtown doesn't start till 4:00 today, so what I saw was just a little unplanned side event. It seemed to be moving around by swarm dynamics -- at first the crowd was all at 12th and Congress, then it moved up to the Capitol steps for some speeches (without amplification so only people huddled in the middle could hear), then a cheer went up and the crowd moved back down the mall. I asked a couple of passersby where everybody was headed and got the answers "just follow the crowd" and "we're going to the UT" -- only the crowd was moving south and UT was to the north.
Grabbing a bite on my way to the festivities I overheard some diners of my own age and ethnicity criticizing these rallies as signs of "bad parenting". I wanted to step into the conversation and ask just what they thought it was that the kids would be learning in school today that was more important than what they were learning in the rallies? Texas schoolkids kids get drilled every February in the legacy of Rosa Parks and MLK, but let them try their hand at applying those lessons and suddenly everybody's a truant officer.
Now I'm thinking about whether to disrupt my daughters' busy and overscheduled week to bring them downtown after work to see what democracy feels like in person.
Oh, and as to my original question: supposedly the school-age leaders of the protests are very digital, organizing by IM and MySpace and whatnot. If so, are any of my readers plugged into that network? So far I've found the Latinos for Texas blog and my friend Seyd's photos from Dallas on Sunday. A Flickr search for "austin immigration" turns up photos that are a week old. Anybody know of anything more real-time?